Finding Strength in Experience

"I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago."
Psalm 77:11
Posted on:
January 17, 2022

When you are asked to think of a great sporting moment, what is it? If you are a West Indies cricket fan, it may be the four sixes that Braithwaite hit against England in the last over of the 2016 20-20 final (I know there is at least one cricket fan out there). For those who remember Gareth Southgate before his dapper suits, it may be his penalty miss versus Germany in 1996 (named the most challenging experience he had even been through).

We now know, the bowler in that cricket final went on to become the hero of English cricket and the penalty taker has become the most successful English manager since Sir Alf Ramsey. Difficult situations, that we come through, build our confidence and give us strength to face our next round of challenges. Be sure of this – there is another challenge coming your way.

In Acts 7, we read of a hero of the faith called Stephen. He had been a faithful servant of the early church. But he faced opposition for doing good. He had been accused of blasphemy against Moses and God by the teachers of the Law. He was arrested and given a chance to defend himself. Instead, he used this opportunity to remember the faithfulness of God to his ancestors and to re-establish the confidence all should have in his law, no matter what persecution he would face. We read the end of his story in Acts 7:59-60:

“While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Stephen had full confidence in the faithfulness of God to bring good from his situation. Even though at the time it looked like it was lost.  

What fight are you facing today? Some challenges we face are external; a particularly challenging experience outside your control. Or it may be that the consequences of your wrong choices that you are working through. Whatever your situation, take it to God, remember that he is faithful and you can trust his word.

What is your response?
As you read the devotional, set some time aside to ask God how the word can change you today.
James 1:22 says "Do not merely listen to the word...do what it says." How can you live out the challenges set, or share the encouragement from the post today?
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